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September's Book
Water Street
by Crystal Wilkinson

From the 2002 first edition (The Toby Press):

On Water Street, every person has at least two stories to tell. One story that the light of day shines on and the other that lives only in the pitch black of night, the kind of story that a person carries beneath their breastbone for safekeeping.

Water Street examines the secret lives of neighbors and friends who live on Water Street in a small town in Kentucky. Love and truth and tragedy are revealed under Wilkinson’s sure hand. This is a superb, cohesive work which marks Ms. Wilkinson’s evolution as a gifted observer and writer.

The Critics Celebrate Crystal Wilkinson ...

Blackberries, Blackberries

“Her made-up characters have made me more aware of my soul.”
—Kentucky Connect

“These tales work the magic Wilkinson intended.”
—The Atlanta Tribune

“Extraordinary ... all of these characters come alive under Wilkinson’s sure hand.”
—Today’s Librarian

Water Street

“This is a book I will treasure and read again.”
—Jim Grimsley, author of Boulevard and Dream Boy

“Subtle and compassionate, Water Street is a deeply insightful portrait of the human condition.”
—Gwyn Hyman Rubio, author of Icy Sparks

“She allows us to know each other and ourselves in ways we never thought possible.”
—Julianna Baggott, author of Girl Talk and The Miss America Family

“Wilkinson is magic, her art an alchemy, Water Street a joy to the senses, a sanctuary for the soul.”
—Melissa Pritchard, author of Disappearing Ingénue


About the Author

Crystal Wilkinson grew up in rural Kentucky and was a director of the Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning in Lexington. She is a charter member of the Affrilachian Poets, a group of performing African-American poets from the South, and serves as chair of the creative writing department for the Kentucky Governor’s School for the Arts.

Her first collection, Blackberries, Blackberries, was published by The Toby Press in 2000 to enthusiastic reviews in the regional and national press.


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